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New trophy for UEFA EURO 2008

UEFA will unveil a new trophy for UEFA EURO 2008 on Thursday in Montreux, Switzerland ahead of the competition's qualifying round draw the following day

Modern design

The new UEFA European Championship trophy is 18 centimetres higher and two kilos heavier than the original designed by Arthus Bertrand in 1960 and named after Henri Delaunay, the former president of the French Football Federation. The upper part of the trophy is based on the original and is also made out of sterling silver. The new trophy, created by Asprey London, will also retain its historical name.

to tell you the truth, I wasnt thrilled about the design of the old trophy so I'm looking forward to see the new one! of course, when I saw it live in Kavala for the 1st time...that was an amazing moment!

:gr:

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A reminder:

The draw will take place noon, Central European Time, and 6 AM, New York Time.

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Commercial content

Mr Olsson said he was happy with the commercial preparations for the 2008 showpiece. "I think [EURO] is now recognised as the second biggest [sporting] event when it comes to TV viewers," he stressed. "All our partners are interested in continuing to have a long view of the relationship with UEFA."

Good football

How will the 2008 tournament differ from 1992? "Figures have changed, but the problems are the same," the UEFA CEO explained. "The interest in a tournament like EURO is great. The most important thing is that good football is played, and that the best teams come.

Firmer grip

"The huge change for UEFA and the associations is that we have taken a much firmer grip of what is happening - all the commercialisation is done in-house, we are working together with the Austrians and Swiss [within] a fully-owned daughter company of UEFA. So a lot of the conflicts that you had before do not exist any more. We are much more focused and collaboration is easier."

Modern countries

"I think we are also adding something to the countries, because it is an opportunity for [them] to show they are modern countries for new markets. Everybody coming will find a lot of hospitality and will definitely come back later." UEFA EURO 2008 also gives UEFA the chance to cement the position of national-team football. "The national-team competitions are the 'cream of the cream'," suggested Mr Olsson. "I don't think there is any club football which can generate as much interest as a national-team competition.

Supporting one team

"First of all, everybody in a country is supporting one team. If it's a club, you already have some supporters, and others in the same country would like to see [the club] lose. That doesn't happen in a national-team competition."

Seeded teams

Greece are seeded as holders while the other associations have been classified by UEFA on the basis of results achieved in the qualifying tournaments for UEFA EURO 2004™ and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. This means UEFA EURO 2004™ finalists Portugal, England, France, Sweden, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands are in Pot 1 with big guns such as Germany, Italy and Spain lurking dangerously in Pot 2.

New records

As European football moves from strength to strength, the 2008 spectacular is expected to shatter the records set by its predecessor in Portugal. UEFA EURO 2004 broke all previous bests: 7.9 billion TV viewers in total, and more than 150 million live viewers for each of the 31 games. The final was seen by an estimated 279 million viewers - an unbelievable increase of 157 per cent on corresponding figures for UEFA EURO 2000. - AND SOME PEOPLE, BITTER AND/OR JEALOUS THAT GREECE WON, WERE SAYING THAT EURO 2004 WAS BORING. WITH THESE NUMBERS, I DONT THINK SO!!!

'You won't find a superior trophy'

When the draw for UEFA EURO 2008 takes place on Friday, coaches from around Europe will have their eyes on a new prize. For the first time since the Soviet Union won the inaugural UEFA European Championship in 1960, a new trophy is up for grabs. The new Henri Delaunay trophy has retained the name and style of the original, but has been brought up to date to reflect the scale and size of Europe's most prestigious national-team tournament.

Bigger and better

"We felt the EURO was one of the two most important international football competitions in the world, but that the trophy was very small and a little bit anonymous so the President [Lennart Johansson] thought we should study the possibility of changing it," UEFA communications director William Gaillard said. "We rapidly abandoned the idea of having a golden trophy - we thought we could leave that for the world competitions. Also, we decided people had got used to the shape of the trophy. The problem was it was very small, much smaller than the UEFA Champions League or UEFA Cup trophies, for instance. And so we decided to make it larger."

Minor changes

It is almost an exact replica, though not quite. A small figure juggling a ball on the back of the original has been removed, as has the marble plinth. The silver base of the trophy also had to be enlarged to make it stable. The names of the winning countries that had appeared on the plinth have now been engraved on the back of the trophy, which is made of sterling silver, weighs 8kgs and is 60cm tall.

Classic style

The responsibility for creating the original went to Pierre Delaunay, son of Henri Delaunay, the visionary behind the competition. Henri Delaunay died in 1955 before seeing his idea come to fruition, but the new prize is testament to his enduring legacy. Unlike other designs for UEFA trophies, the new-look Henri Delaunay trophy has maintained its classic style. "We've kept it because this competition goes back to 1960, but if you look at some of the other trophies we have they are very avant-garde looking," Gaillard said. "Some of the women's trophies and the Under-17 and U19 trophies, are very stylised, very modern, but this one we just wanted to keep the way it was."

'Focal point'

Unlike the original, which was the work of the Chobillon goldsmith and was later bought by Arthus Bertrand in Paris, making the modern equivalent was entrusted to Asprey London. Asprey, renowned silversmiths, jewellers and goldsmiths, have a long history of trophy-making stretching back to the America's Cup, which their sister company Garrard made in 1848. "UEFA wanted to improve on the quality but also the scale of the trophy," Asprey spokesman Steven Maddison said. "They wanted to have a focal point for the event and the trophy they had was fairly small for doing that.

'Higher quality'

"We had to keep to quite a strict guideline as it needed to reflect the trophy that went before," he added. "We've enlarged it and tweaked it slightly but the actual style and shape is pretty much as it was. The quality of the metal used is much higher and the workmanship is of a much higher quality. You won't find a superior trophy." The eventual winners of UEFA EURO 2008™ will second that. Greece's Theodoros Zagorakis was the last captain to lift the old trophy in Lisbon in July 2004. Whoever follows his lead will be getting his hands on an even more substantial reward.

UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying round draw

Pot 1

Greece

Netherlands

Portugal

England

Czech Republic

France

Sweden

Pot 2

Germany

Croatia

Italy

Turkey

Poland

Spain

Romania

Pot 3

Serbia and Montenegro

Russia

Denmark

Norway

Bulgaria

Ukraine

Slovakia

Pot 4

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Republic of Ireland

Belgium

Latvia

Israel

Scotland

Slovenia

Pot 5

Hungary

Finland

Estonia

Wales

Lithuania

Albania

Iceland

Pot 6

Georgia

F.Y.R. Macedonia

Belarus

Armenia

Northern Ireland

Cyprus

Moldova

Pot 7

Liechtenstein

Azerbaijan

Andorra

Malta

Faroe Islands

Kazakhstan

Luxembourg

San Marino

Edited by plato-ny
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